New Canada Research Chair Announced for Trent University
Canada Research Chair in Environmental Modelling to bring $687,500 in additional research funding to the University
Trent University is pleased to announce the appointment of its newest Canada Research Chair, in the field of Environmental Modelling. Dr. Julian Aherne was among 106 new appointments announced by the Honourable David L. Emerson, Minister of Industry and Minister responsible for the Canada Research Chairs Program, and Reg Alcock, President of the Treasury Board and Minister responsible for the Canadian Wheat Board, at the University of Manitoba today.
The Chairs program stands at the centre of a national strategy to make Canada one of the world's top five countries for research and development and seeks to attract and retain world-class researchers. Chairholders advance the frontiers of knowledge in their fields, not only through their own work, but also by teaching and supervising students and coordinating the work of other researchers. Trent is already home to eight Chairholders, who advance teaching and learning through their leading edge explorations in diverse disciplines.
"The Canada Research Chairs Program is a significant gain for universities and colleges across the country," said the Honourable David Emerson. "It ensures Canadian research excellence for years to come, and gives our students - the next generation of leaders and thinkers - the opportunity to learn from the best and brightest minds in the world."
Prof. Aherne is currently a professor and researcher in the Environmental and Resource Studies program. His research uses models to improve our understanding of pollutants in the environment and will lead to the improved management of chemical contaminants with the aim of preserving the equilibrium of ecosystems.
As an exceptional emerging researcher, acknowledged by his peers as having the potential to lead in his field, Prof. Aherne has been appointed as a "Tier Two" Chairholder. The position is tenable for five years and renewable once; Trent will receive $100,000 annually for five years. Trent will also receive $187,500 over the next several years from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) and the provincial Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, for infrastructure support for Prof. Aherne's research.
"Prof. Aherne has already achieved an outstanding research record," says Dr. James D. A. Parker, Associate Vice-President for Research, at Trent. "This appointment will ensure that he can continue to do innovative and leading-edge research."
As holder of the Canada Research Chair in Environmental Modelling, Prof. Aherne will create computer modelling tools that will help us understand and manage chemicals in the environment. His research at the internationally recognized Canadian Environmental Modelling Centre at Trent involves the development, evaluation, and application of these tools.
"The need to better understand chemicals in the environment is vital to our economic success as a nation and quality of life as Canadians," says Prof. Aherne. "Where do the chemicals come from? Where do they go? And what happens in the process? The interdisciplinary field of environmental modelling searches for answers to these and other related questions."
Prof. Aherne's research sees him working in his laboratory, analyzing soil, water, and air samples he has collected and then using that data to create equations and formulas as the basis for the computer modelling tools.
These tools provide him with a fast-forward look at what could eventually happen to the chemicals in the soil, water, and air. "If we can successfully model what the chemicals are doing now, then we can predict what they will do in the future."
Models like those being used by Prof. Aherne are allowing us to forecast future environmental status, so that we can make decisions today that will enhance the quality of our natural environment tomorrow.
The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) is an independent corporation created by the Government of Canada to fund research infrastructure. The CFI's mandate is to strengthen the capacity of Canadian universities, colleges, research hospitals, and non-profit research institutions to carry out world-class research and technology development that benefits Canadians.
Current Canada Research Chairs at Trent
Prof. Aherne joins a distinguished complement of eight other Canada Research Chairs at Trent. They include:
For further information on these Chairholders, please visit www.trentu.ca/ research/crc.html
Posted April 22, 2005